Maximizing the Club Carlson Credit Card Free Night Perk

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About a year and a half ago, Club Carlson came out with a co-branded credit. The announcement of their credit card was quite exciting for a few different reasons: 1) The sign up offer is great!, 2) There was no easy way to earn Club Carlson points with credit card spend prior to this; and 3) The most important perk in my opinion… a free night with every stay when you use points!!!

Due to the announcement of Southwest’s international flights and the fact that there is a great Radisson property in Aruba (so I’ve heard), I will be heading to Aruba this upcoming winter. While my reservation is for six nights, I am only using points for three of those nights! The other three nights are absolutely free – no cash or points required! As I mentioned previously, one of the best perks of the Club Carlson credit card is that for every reservation booked on points (for stays of 2 or more nights) you’ll receive your last night free. Since both my husband and I have the card and points in our respective accounts, we are able to really maximize! For my Aruba stay I have three different back-to-back reservations:

  • Reservation #1: Booked under my account, night 1 = 50,000 points, night 2 = FREE!
  • Reservation #2: Booked under my husbands account, night 3 = 50,000 points, night 4 = FREE!
  • Reservation #3: Booked under my account, night 5 = 50,000 points, night 6 = FREE!

So for a 6 night stay in Aruba I am only spending 150,000 Club Carlson points! Since I am going during a peak-time, the total cost for the 6 nights would have been $4,297.64. Most people value Club Carlson points at about .5 cents per point, so getting a 2.9 cent per point value for my stay is great.

If my husband did not have the Club Carlson card, I would have only been able to get one free night since it would have been a consecutive 6-night stay reservation and had to use 250,000 points. Now, if you do not have a travel partner that also has the card, there are some ways to still maximize the multiple night free benefit at a single hotel. Here are some tips:

  • Stay 2 nights, then pay with cash one night, then stay 2 nights, etc. So that means nights 1 and 4 use points, nights 2 and 5 are free, and night 3 you are paying whatever the going rate is.
  • Stay 2 nights, go to another hotel for a night, come back to the Club Carlson property and stay 2 more nights.

The only issue with booking separate reservations for a single stay is that you always risk the chance that you will need to check in and check out for each reservation and possibly change rooms. That can be quite annoying, but if you contact the hotel in advance and request them to link the reservations so you do not need to change rooms you shouldn’t have an issue. Just make sure to book the exact same room type.

Key Links: 

  • Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature: Earn 85,000 point signup bonus — 50,000 after first purchase and 35,000 more after $2500 spend within 90 days; Earn 40,000 points annually for car renewal; $75 annual fee
  • Club Carlson Rewards Visa Signature: Earn 60,000 point signup bonus — 50,000 after first purchase and 10,000 more after $1500 spend within 90 days; Earn 25,000 points annually for card renewal; $50 annual fee
  • Club Carlson Rewards Visa Card: Earn 30,000 point signup bonus after spending $1,000 on the card within 90 days; no annual fee
  • Club Carlson Business Rewards Visa: Earn 85,000 point signup bonus — 50,000 after first purchase and 35,000 more after $2500 spend within 90 days; Earn 40,000 points annually for card renewal; $60 annual fee

**All four credit cards get the same perk as your last night free when redeeming points for your stay. While I do not love paying annual fees, I personally think the first card listed (if looking for a personal card) is best since getting 40,000 points for $75 is quite cheap!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As always, thanks for supporting the blog and enjoy traveling on a deal!

Comments

  1. We also love the Radisson Aruba. That is why we got their credit card. But, word floating around is the Radisson might be selling their property in Aruba:(

  2. Actually, if only one of you has the card, you would only have to spend an extra 50K for a 6 night stay. Being elite, you can transfer 50K to your husband.

    Night 1: Wife 50k
    Night 2: Wife Free
    Night 3: Husband 50k
    Night 4: Wife 50k
    Night 5: Wife 50k
    Night 6: Wife Free

    I did this strategy for my parents (only Dad has the credit card) when they visited London in the Spring.

  3. We are sitting in the AUA airport now waiting to depart on LUV. Stayed 6 nights at the radisson. As I wouldn’t recommend the “upgrade ” they give you on the property (which will more than likely overlook the RIu parking lot or the occidental parking lot), for an extra $125 a night they gave us the best suite on the 6th floor in the Caracao building, and the plaza level service which includes cocktails, breakfast and tea time. Def worth it

  4. @dealswelike
    i read on another blog that rezidor frowns upon these kinds of points “maneuvers”.
    how did the mechanics of checking out and checking in for 2nd & 3rd stays play out?

  5. @purcitron – we did this in Amsterdam in late April. No problem. I had written to the hotel a week prior to our staying inquiring about a canal view room. They wrote back, noting that we had 6 nights reserved and they blocked a canal view room for us! Worked out great. Biggest downside is breakfast not included. Lucky for us, easy to find outside the hotel.

  6. @Marilyn B
    good to know for future ref
    the breakfast will get ya! 15euros park inn prague! but free bicycle rental!

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